Chess Pie

This is pecan pie on a WHOLE new level.  My aunt made this every holiday growing up, and it's made an appearance on every holiday day table in my family for over 40 years.....or there about.  I LOVE pecan pie, but I've never been a fan of the cloyingly sweet corn syrup filling and severe lack of pecans on top.   THIS filling has no corn syrup and is sweet, buttery and nutty....perfect to compliment the ENORMOUS amount of pecans that hang out on top.  To me, it's not the holidays without this pie.

It's also the ONLY dessert my non-dessert eating brother will actually eat!

overhead shot of sliced chess pie on black background

Chess Pie

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Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8


  • Pie Crust Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups  sifted all-purpose flour (measure and then sift)
  • ½  teaspoon  salt
  • ½  cup  cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces dice it first, then put in a bowl and place in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 2-4  tablespoons  ice water

Filling Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 ½  cups  granulated sugar
  • tablespoon  apple cider vinegar (do NOT use white wine vinegar. You can substitute white vinegar, but apple cider really is the best)
  • eggs
  • teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ - 1 cup  coarsely chopped pecans


  • For the Crust: Sift the flour and salt together and add to bowl of food processor. Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter resembles tiny pebbles. With the motor running, add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add enough water to make the dough just barely come together. It will still look loose and crumbly, but you will know it’s enough water when you can take a small pinch of the dough and it just holds together.
  • When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a couple of sheets of plastic wrap. Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough, and, using the plastic wrap, create a ball. Flatten it out with your hands a bit, and then refrigerate while you make the filling.
  • For the Filling: In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and vinegar and bring mixture to a boil. Place eggs in a mixing bowl and beat well. I usually use my stand mixer for this step, but you can also use a hand mixer. Add a few tablespoons of the sugar mixture to the eggs, to temper the eggs, and mix for a couple of minutes. This will ensure you don’t get scrambled eggs.
  • Add the rest of the sugar mixture to the eggs and beat well to incorporate all the ingredients. Add the vanilla and beat for another few seconds.
  • To Assemble the Pie: After making this pie for YEARS, I’ve learned a few things. The MOST IMPORTANT thing --- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ROLL OUT THE DOUGH. The easiest way to get the dough to cooperate (because it will be really crumbly) is dump the entire ball of dough into your pie plate. Using your fingers, press the dough into the pie dish. This will take a few minutes. Work as quickly as you can, so you don’t handle the dough too much, to ensure the crust will be light and flakey. Make sure there are no holes in the crust for the filling to leak through, and bring the dough up along the rim of the pie plate. Using a fork, press down on the dough to make a pretty pattern.
  • Give the filling one more quick blend and then pour into the crust.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. The filling should not jiggle when you shake the plate.
  • Cool completely and serve with a large spoonful of whipped cream.
Have you made this recipe?I'd love to know! Leave a comment or recipe rating and tag me @amenuforyou on social media!

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